District to join regional business program

Inter-Municipal Business Licensing program ending pilot project, District to join in 2016

The District of Kent hopes joining a regional program will help cut down on red tape and make it easier for businesses to thrive.

The Inter-Municipal Business Licensing (IMBL) program is a joint venture between multiple communities that allows a business to buy one home license and one for all the other member communities. The concept behind the plan is that many businesses such as the trades operate in many different communities and need to buy a business license for each one. That requirement leads to compliance issues and financial hardship for small businesses.

Agassiz-based Pete & Sons Plumbing & Drain Cleaning Ltd. does work in Chiliwack, Hope, Boston Bar, Abbotsford and Mission alongside Agassiz, for example.

“We’re all over the map,” explains owner Henny de Jong. She says while they have a business license that covers those other communities, it does not include Agassiz. de Jong says the District of Kent joining the IMBL program will make it easier for their business.

For others, the move by the District won’t have as much of an impact. Wouda’s Construction Ltd. focuses their business work on the District of Kent and the Village of Harrison Hot Springs. Harrison at this time is not looking to join the program, so Wouda’s still needs to buy a business license for Agassiz and a separate one for Harrison.

At the District of Kent Council meeting August 17, Darcey Kohuch, director of development services, presented the report to Council. He explained that the IMBL program began as a pilot project in 2013 with Chilliwack, Abbotsford, Langley, Maple Ridge, Mission, Pitt Meadows, Surrey and Hope.

After a successful two years, the pilot project is coming to an end and Kohuch reported the member communities want to continue on as a permanent program. The District of Kent has now been invited to join in the IMBL program.

Council members voted in favour of joining the IMBL program. Councillor Sylvia Pranger was quick to lend her support.

“The whole object is to make it more business-friendly, with less red tape and bureaucracy,” said Pranger.

Mayor John Van Laerhoven said he likes that there is a choice in the program for business owners to participate or not, depending on the scope of their work.

Van Laerhoven said they had phone calls after the IMBL program was implemented elsewhere asking why the District wasn’t part of the program.

“At that time, people were disheartened we weren’t part of it,” he recalls, adding he was disappointed the District didn’t get to participate “right from the get-go.”

Now that Council has voted in favour of joining, staff are working to be ready to implement the program locally in time for 2016 business licensing.

Just Posted

Driver assaulted near Agassiz following road rage incident

RCMP ask for public’s help identifying suspects involved in Highway 9 incident

Man accused of killing Belgian tourist along Highway 1 appears in court

Sean McKenzie, 27, made second court appearance since his arrest in connection with the murder of Amelie Sakkalis

Dryness, nitrates possible explanations for Fraser Valley dairy farm fires

Farmers in Agassiz, Rosedale still unsure how fires started

Letter: Look for facts on proportional representation

In regards to the upcoming referendum on Proportional Representation, it should be… Continue reading

Harrison art exhibit features portraits of female strength, power

Ranger Station Art Gallery puts Angela Burdon’s portrait work on display

Tommy Chong says cannabis legalization makes him proud to be a Canadian

Legendary marijuana advocate and comedian celebrates cultural milestone at Kelowna event

Prank pizzas delivered to B.C. mayor on election night

The fake orders happened throughout Victoria mayor’s re-election campaign

Chilliwack voters reject anti-SOGI school board candidates

Slate, including Barry Neufeld, had opposed anti-bullying LGBTQ teaching resource

MLA to become Nanaimo’s next mayor, could weaken NDP’s grasp on power

Leonard Krog’s win will trigger a byelection when he gives up his provincial seat

Horvat nets OT winner as Canucks beat Bruins 2-1

Young Vancouver star had spirited scrap earlier in contest

Team Canada gold medal winners for first time in world curling championship

Team Canada earned gold in Kelowna at the 2018 Winn Rentals World Mixed Curling Championship

3 in serious condition after altercation on Granville strip: police

Patrol officers came upon the fight just after 3 a.m. on Granville Street near Helmcken Street

B.C. passenger caught smoking weed in a car issued $230 fine

Saanich police did a field sobriety test on the driver and deemed it safe for him to drive

Pedestrian rushed to Lower Mainland hospital after being hit by car

Friday night crash is latest in rash of collisions involving pedestrians in Surrey

Most Read